Students identify their own skills at Career Cafe


Bianca Salgado

From Left to Right: Pharmacy tech major, Alex Ana, nursing major, Chanel Baxter, and economics major, Shirley Sanchez participate in a group activity during the Career Cafe session on Monday, April 25 at 2 p.m. in MP-201. They had to determine and label the types of skills the President of the United States would need to have. Photo credit: Bianca Salgado

Bianca Salgado, Opinion Editor

Addressing the seven students present, Career Counselor Traci Ukita said, “A skill isn’t something that you are naturally born with but you develop it over a period of time.”

Career Services hosted their last Career Cafe of the semester on Monday, April 25 at 2 p.m. in the Multipurpose Building room 201.

Not only did the cafe consist of a lecture but Traci Ukita and Clara Ross-Jones, whom is also a career counselor, guided the students through a group activity then transitioned to an individual activity.

For the group activity, students were each given two pages with labels of multiple different colored words and were asked, in two groups of three, to choose a few they can associate with a housewife and with the President of the United States of America.

The list of transferable skills they came up with for a housewife were:

  • Prepare
  • Money
  • Design
  • Inspire
  • Convey feelings
  • Lead

Now the skills associated for the President of the United States of America were:

  • Persuade
  • Conceptualize
  • Motivate
  • Negotiate
  • Listening
  • Lead

After reconvening as a whole group, the students discussed how some skills were similar to each occupation.

The topic of conversation for the session was: skills identification – discover your skills to make better career decisions.

Ukita expressed how there are three main categories of skills:

  • Self-management skills (at times called adaptive skills) – these are like personality traits or personal attributes being able to keep a job
  • Work content skills (or called job content skills) – these are very specific to a kind of job
  • Transferable skills – these are developed in one type of arena

Ukita said, “Kinda want to mention what skills are in the first place. Not that there is one definition of skills but, generally speaking, a skill is some sort of behavior that you can strengthen through practice that’s directed to some kind of goal.”

The next activity, which was individual, the students had to express on a worksheet a brief description of an experience or accomplishment, then using the two pages of labels they had to peel and stick from indicate what skills they would like to use, indifferent of using and which the dislike to use.

The purpose of having the labels that were different colored was to indicate that words that are Green meant working with people, Pink meant hands-on, and Blue means handling information, data and ideas.

Students should be enhancing and consider what their skills are when reflecting their past experiences such as being in clubs, showcasing leadership initiatives, etc. that will help with with their decision-making on careers.

Alex Santos, pharmacy technician major, remarked, “The Career Cafe opened up my eyes about additional skills that I should acquire and how I can utilize them. Not only for employment purposes, but for academics and social interaction as well.”